The Kenyan Banking Industry is in turmoil especially after the collapse of Imperial and Chase Bank. The reality that corporate governance shortcomings are a reality in the industry cannot be ignored, or assumed.
According to the Investopedia, Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community.
The corporate governance failures at the National Bank since the time Munir Ahmed was at the helm expose a bank surrounded by vultures ready to pounce on anything they spot. Even after Munir Ahmed left, the bank has failed to gain trust from Kenyans over many scandals and integrity questions that continue to arise.
To start with, the Bank’s top leadership is embroiled in serious scandals that are yet to be resolved. The Chairman Mr Mohammed Hassan was mentioned in the Bluebird Aviation saga where together with other corporate fraudsters, he masterminded the syphoning of more than Ksh. 100 Billion. The matter is still pending as Mohammed Hassan, tried to have himself withdrawn as an interested party but the judge sided with the evidence provided by the Grand Mullah and retained him as an interested party.
Apart from the BlueBird Aviation case, Mr Mohammed Hassan was mentioned in the Dyer and Blair case where the court ruled that under the capacity of CEO, he personally colluded and froze a client’s account after he deposited KES 100m, trying to conjure it as a directive from CBK, a practice he has now perfected at the troubled National Bank.
Mr Wilfred Musau, the bank’s MD has been mentioned in many scandals one pertaining insider lending to the chairman without board approval and trying to rape a staffer who later took him to court. Other notable members of the NBK Cabal include the Corporate Director, Reuben Koech,a master extortionist who claims he is the self-anointed man of the DP, nevertheless sources claim that his division contributes to 90% of the profit that the bank makes. The Director of Credit, Stephen Gathogo, is the messenger and errand boy for the Cabal for which he gets a small cut of the loot.
Other notable members include Musa Adan Islamic Banking, who is the Chairman’s Pitbull, Cromwell Kedemi, a “pastor” with one hand in the air and the other elsewhere, Peter Kioko who steps in when his Kamba Elder Musau can’t understand matters and Bernadette Ngara who is the MD’s personal makeup artist. We must give credit where it is due, the NBK Cabal has been very instrumental in empowering women in business by expediting their growth in the bank, under the condition they get to sleep with them too.
The National Bank of Kenya has failed to gain trust from Kenyans because of fraud and sagas masterminded by the greedy management that the regulator (CBK) has refused to punish even though all the CBK requirements are now in the red. It raises the questions of what advice is Habil Waswani, the company secretary and legal director giving the management and board or does his love for the finer things in life cloud his priorities.
To move forward, the CBK Brotherhood, must forego “protection” of said individuals due to their relationships and should purge the NBK management and deploy all measures to ensure continuity of the lender.
The recent failures at Chase Bank and Imperial Bank must change our thinking, to stop the calamity that is brewing at the lender, which has always been troubled. Governance systems are a reflection of priorities, local conditions and perceptions of the customers to the bank. NBK is no longer treated as a Tier One bank and it is known in the industry that it is trending with clients transferred from other banks with hard-core bad loans.
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